Objective: This study describes a new alternative combination preservative containing caprylyl glycol, phenethyl alcohol and glyceryl caprylate and investigates the effects of the particle size of the emulsion droplet on the anti-microbial activity of the said blend in the formulation.
Methods: The anti-microbial activity of the ingredients and the blend were determined via MIC, MBC, MFC and fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) determination using the broth microdilution method. The blend inhibited the micro-organism contamination of the oil-in-water emulsion, and its performance was affected by the particle size of the emulsion droplet, as shown by the in vitro microbial challenge test.
Results: Results show that the MIC/MBC/MFC values of the blend were lower than those of any of the ingredients used alone. Any two of the ingredients presented no antagonistic activities against all the tested micro-organisms, and synergism or additive effects were also observed. The challenge test also showed that the action of the blend against bacteria and yeast was only 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, and mould was completely inhibited at 1.4%, meeting the requirements of the PCPC and European Pharmacopoeia. The results showed that anti-microbial activity was gradually enhanced when the particle size of the emulsion droplets increased significantly in the range of 100-900 nm. A positive correlation was found between anti-microbial activity and particle size.
Conclusion: The synergistic performance of caprylyl glycol, phenethyl alcohol and glyceryl caprylate and the anti-microbial activity of their blend suggest that their combination is effective and exhibits broad-spectrum anti-microbial activity. Furthermore, the results show a positive correlation between the anti-microbial activity of the preservative and the particle size of the emulsion droplets in the range of 100-900 nm, when the same concentration of the blend is used in the same formulation. The particle size of the emulsion droplets is demonstrated to be a newly discovered factor that influences the preservation of cosmetic products.
Keywords: caprylyl glycol; glyceryl caprylate; particle size; phenethyl alcohol; preservative.
© 2016 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.